Monday, February 8, 2016

Teaching English Adults

When we decide to teach adults, the awareness, as well as comprehension of whom we teach and what we teach, is essential here.

1)     Adults do not want to waste the time.

Some adults take language courses because of a job requirement while others have their specific goal to attain (such as a language exam or a professional interview ).
Adults expect direct, practical benefit. All of them will raise the similar questions
·        Why,
·        What for,
·        How,
·        Who (is my teacher?),
·         What else could I achieve instead?
·         Is the time well spent?
All lessons must have a clear outcome, perhaps even a practical takeaway. It is necessary to define specific profits at the end of the lesson and associate the benefits to the individual learning purposes.
2)     Adults are reflective learners; they think about
·       what is challenging or where I require more support
·       individual learning strategies and self-evaluation
·       maintaining a sense of responsibility for learning and achieving goals  
3)  Motivation is varied, and flexibility is crucial.

Teachers have to be flexible and ready for different approaches, wide-ranging content or even unconventional paths to lead to the same goal.
Creating a context for meaningful learning is one of the tasks.
4) Mature students feel the need for direct benefit as well as dominant language skills.

·        Learners are looking for a solution to an exact problem at hand, immediately.
·       The fundamental question is: “What should I do to get this to work?”
·        Mature learners usually want to accomplish a particular task, or at least, see a noticeable benefit for the future.
·       Adults want to use language for a real-world reason.
5) The different abilities of adult learners are evident.
I am against using grammar tables, linguistic terms and other abstractions in language teaching. However, if they can help the grown-up learner why do not explain the grammar rules?